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    Apr 05, 2016

    Security officer charged over madrasah student attacks

    A SECURITY officer was charged yesterday with kicking a 16-year-old madrasah student in what court papers say was a "racially aggravated" act.

    He was also charged with acting rashly to endanger the personal safety of two other teenagers, who were from the same madrasah.

    No plea was taken from Koh Weng Onn, who was arrested on Saturday and remains in custody.

    In the first charge, the burly 48-year-old is accused of hurting the teen by kicking her on the right thigh in Paya Lebar Road at 7.22am on Friday.

    In the second charge, he is said to have swung a plastic bag containing a filled 1.5-litre water bottle at a 14-year-old girl, a minute later.

    The bag hit her on the face as she was walking along the pedestrian pavement by the side of the road.

    The third charge accuses him of hurting another 14-year-old girl on an escalator at 7.24am.

    Court papers say she was on the ascending escalator at the Paya Lebar Circle Line MRT Station when Koh, who was on the descending escalator, allegedly swung the plastic bag with the bottled water at her. It hit her on the face.

    Deputy Public Prosecutor Goh Yi Ling told District Judge Ronald Gwee that these three holding charges were the result of investigations over the weekend. The prosecution will review them subsequently when more facts are known.

    She said preliminary investigations so far revealed that Koh had made a high number of police reports - 90 of them - in the course of five years.

    She said: "Most of these reports appear to have been generated by his belief that he was being targeted by others.

    "He also made reports which nobody would have thought of making a police report about."

    Examples, she said, included a report against a sales promoter immediately after buying a product from her; a report about a woman he felt was "sitting inappropriately" and reports about quarrels with his colleagues and about strangers he believed bore him ill will.

    She added that the investigating officer who interacted with Koh believed that his behaviour should be addressed by a period of remand at the Institute of Mental Health, for proper observation and assessment of his mental state and his ability to make his defence.

    Koh will be remanded until the next mention of the case on April 18. The alleged victims cannot be named due to a gag order by the court.

    The maximum penalty for racially motivated hurt is three years' jail and a $7,500 fine.

    If convicted of the other two charges, Koh could be jailed for up to one year and fined up to $5,000 on each charge.